IEBC Credibility in Question:
The month saw a number of players question the IEBC’s credibility. The lead has been the CORD coalition following the rejection of the Okoa Kenya signatures. The Opposition has harboured a grievance against the IEBC since 2013 Supreme Court decision about the contested Presidency and now calls for disbandment of the Commission.
- 9th April: The Catholic bishops, the Chief Justice and Civil Society Organizations warned of violence in the next election unless the government does ‘something radical.’
- 21st April: The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) also pointed out the IEBC credibility is in doubt as it has not put in place the necessary reforms to hold a credible election. Public confidence in the IEBC is at an all-time low at 28 per cent.
- 23rd April: The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) joined the bandwagon pushing for the reconstruction of the IEBC in the lead up to the Elections to inspire public confidence. The church body also called for a new Supreme Court and public testing of all electronic equipment to be used in the polls.
- 25th April: The Law Society of Kenya also joined calls for the disbandment and reconstitution of the IEBC and in particular asked the Chair Isaack Hassan to step aside from his position as corruption investigations remain pending. The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) also pushed for the same.
On the same day, CORD led their supporters to IEBC headquarters seeking to eject the officials from office, however their attempts were thwarted by heavy police presence and use of tear gas.
Given the prevailing doubts about the integrity, impartiality and capacity of the IEBC to run free and fair elections, will the institution be reconstituted in time for the 2017 elections?